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News 10/24/18

October 24, 2018 News No Comments

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Digital health company Thirty Madison will launch a telemedicine service for migraine sufferers later this year. The New York City-based company announced a $15 million Series A funding round last week, which it will use for the new product launch and to further develop its telemedicine-based prescription service for men’s hair loss.  

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Co-founders Demetri Karagas and Steve Gutentag both hail from Google. They have raised $23 million since launching the company last year.


Webinars

October 30 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “How One Pediatric CIN Aligned Culture, Technology and the Community to Transform Care.” Presenters: Lisa Henderson, executive director, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Shehzad Saeed, MD, associate chief medical officer, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Mason Beard, solutions strategy leader, Philips PHM; Gabe Orthous, value-based care consultant, Himformatics. Sponsor: Philips PHM. Dayton Children’s Health Partners, a pediatric clinically integrated network, will describe how it aligned its internal culture, technology partners, and the community around its goal of streamlining care delivery and improving outcomes. Presenters will describe how it recruited network members, negotiated value-based contracts, and implemented a data-driven care management process.

November 7 (Wednesday) 3:00 ET. “Opioid Crisis: What One Health Plan is Doing About It.” Presenter: Samuel DiCapua, DO, chief medical director, New Hampshire Health Families; and chief medical officer, Casenet. Sponsor: Casenet. This webinar will describe how managed care organization NH Health Families is using innovative programs to manage patients who are struggling with addiction and to help prevent opioid abuse.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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EClinicalworks adds an Opioid Risk Tool to its EHR, giving providers the ability via smart form to assess a patient’s risk for drug abuse and offer alternatives that align with CDC recommendations.

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New York-based Care Compass Network will use care management technology from GSI Health to integrate the EHRs of its community health partners, and improve care delivered to Medicaid patients within its nine-country service area.

Athenahealth incorporates real-time prescription pricing and benefit information from CoverMyMeds with its AthenaClinicals EHR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Medicare quality reporting company Mingle Analytics merges with care management software company SilverVue to form physician practice-focused Mingle Health. Mingle Analytics founder and CEO David Mingle, MD will become executive chairman of the new company. SilverVue founder and CEO Will West will take on the role of CEO.


People

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Patrick Block (LeanKit) joins Relatient as CFO.

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MGMA names Akash Madiah (DaVita Medical Group) CFO.


Government and Politics

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President Trump signs the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law. The 660-page bill focuses on combatting the opioid epidemic. Among other things, it encourages telemedicine utilization for patients suffering from opioid use disorder, and the adoption of EHRs among behavioral health providers.

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OCR extends the Mecklenburg Country Health Department in North Carolina an olive branch of sorts by not fining it for a 2017 HIPAA violation. The infraction occurred when the county responded to a local media outlet’s records request with an Excel spreadsheet containing the PHI of thousands of health department patients. The county self-reported the violation, and has agreed to revise its policies, procedures, and training methods; and to purchase hardware and software that will help it better manage records requests.


Research and Innovation

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A JAMA study finds that people have crowdfunded over $4 billion sine 2015 to fund unproven medical treatments. The majority of money was raised through GoFundMe for homeopathic or naturopathic cancer treatments.


Other

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In HIMSS giveaway news: Smart mug manufacturer Ember connects its temperature- and quantity-sensing features with Apple’s Health app, giving users the ability to track their daily caffeine consumption and to better understand how it impacts their heart rate and sleep patterns. The mugs retail for between $80 and $150.


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News 10/22/18

October 22, 2018 News No Comments

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Vatica Health makes a $1 million bid to acquire the assets of chronic care management company CareSync, which abruptly closed its doors in June. The Nashville, TN-based Vatica’s business model seems a little fuzzy based on its opaquely-worded website, which says it offers a “[u]nique blend of proprietary technology and clinical teams that enable providers and payers to thrive in value-based care.” Court filings suggest that the auction of CareSync’s assets could take place as early as November 5.


Webinars

October 30 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “How One Pediatric CIN Aligned Culture, Technology and the Community to Transform Care.” Presenters: Lisa Henderson, executive director, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Shehzad Saeed, MD, associate chief medical officer, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Mason Beard, solutions strategy leader, Philips PHM; Gabe Orthous, value-based care consultant, Himformatics. Sponsor: Philips PHM. Dayton Children’s Health Partners, a pediatric clinically integrated network, will describe how it aligned its internal culture, technology partners, and the community around its goal of streamlining care delivery and improving outcomes. Presenters will describe how it recruited network members, negotiated value-based contracts, and implemented a data-driven care management process.

November 7 (Wednesday) 3:00 ET. “Opioid Crisis: What One Health Plan is Doing About It.” Presenter: Samuel DiCapua, DO, chief medical director, New Hampshire Health Families; and chief medical officer, Casenet. Sponsor: Casenet. This webinar will describe how managed care organization NH Health Families is using innovative programs to manage patients who are struggling with addiction and to help prevent opioid abuse.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Allendale Association will implement behavioral health-focused EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions at its facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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CarePoint Health (CO) and Holston Medical Group (TN) – both independent, multispecialty physician groups – select RCM software and consulting services from R1 RCM. CarePoint had been a customer of Intermedix, which R1 acquired early this year for $460 million.

EWellness will add automated speech-recognition and transcription technology to its Phzio digital physical therapy platform, which includes remote monitoring and video consults.


People

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Scot McCray (BerkleyChambers) joins Community Health Services, an FQHC with six locations in Vermont, as CEO.


Government and Politics

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The Health Resources and Services Administration of HHS will award $293 million in scholarships and loan repayments to primary care providers and students working within the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps. Providers within these programs typically care for underserved patients in rural, tribal, and urban communities.


Telemedicine

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Just in time for flu season: Walmart will give customers who purchase products like Airborne and Mucinex vouchers for free virtual consults from Doctor on Demand.  Walmart’s experience with Doctor on Demand extends to its employees: Virtual visits from the company are included in employee benefits.


Other

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This article spotlights the efforts of Turner Impact Capital CEO Bobby Turner to improve the cost and quality of healthcare for seniors in Florida. The investor has partnered with geriatrics-focused primary care company ChenMed to open six Dedicated Senior Medical Centers across the state. Los Angeles-based TIC’s $400 million healthcare fund is directed at facilities focused on ambulatory and transitional care in underserved neighborhoods.

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In Montreal, physicians can now prescribe free visits to the local museum of modern art thanks to a pilot program funded by Médecins francophones du Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “There’s more and more scientific proof that art therapy is good for your physical health,” says family physician and association VP Hélène Boyer, MD. “It increases our level of cortisol and our level of serotonin.. People tend to think this is only good for mental health issues. That it’s for people who’re depressed or who have psychological problems. But that’s not the case. It’s good for patients with diabetes, for patients in palliative care, for people with chronic illness.”


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at CHCANYS18 Annual Conference and Clinical Forum through October 23 in Tarrytown, NY.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 10/17/18

October 17, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Digital prescription savings company OptimizeRx acquires interactive patient messaging vendor CareSpeak Communications for an undisclosed sum.


Webinars

October 30 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “How One Pediatric CIN Aligned Culture, Technology and the Community to Transform Care.” Presenters: Lisa Henderson, executive director, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Shehzad Saeed, MD, associate chief medical officer, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Mason Beard, solutions strategy leader, Philips PHM; Gabe Orthous, value-based care consultant, Himformatics. Sponsor: Philips PHM. Dayton Children’s Health Partners, a pediatric clinically integrated network, will describe how it aligned its internal culture, technology partners, and the community around its goal of streamlining care delivery and improving outcomes. Presenters will describe how it recruited network members, negotiated value-based contracts, and implemented a data-driven care management process.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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It looks like Aledade has raised more money, though maybe not in an entirely new round of financing. The Bethesda, MD-based company has accrued nearly $100 million since launching four years ago.


Announcements and Implementations

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In New York, CareMount Medical integrates MyHealthDirect’s online scheduling software with its NextGen EHR across primary care, pediatrics, dermatology, and OB/GYN. The independent group – the largest of its kind in the state – will roll it out to additional specialties next year.

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MDToolbox adds real-time prescription drug benefit and pricing information, plus therapeutic alternatives, to its e-prescribing software.

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DACCO Behavioral Health (FL) selects care coordination, e-prescribing, and revenue cycle software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

Casamba adds RCM capabilities from IKS Health to its EHR for clinics, post-acute care, therapy, and hospice facilities.


Telemedicine

NextGen adds virtual visit capabilities from Otto Health to its ambulatory EHR.


Other

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The New Hampshire Board of Medicine fines Nashua Pain Management Aaron Geller, MD $2,000 for a number of unorthodox practices and beliefs including a lack of patient drug testing based on the belief that some opioids are abuse-resistant and that gainfully employed patients are at lower risk for addiction. Poor electronic record-keeping – verging on the “abysmal” – was also noted in the 16-page ruling outlining all of his transgressions, which came to light after a three-day hearing.

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The Sequoia Project creates the Interoperability Matters Advisory Group and solicits nominations for workgroup members who will provide HIE updates and feedback on interoperability recommendations. The Advisory Group will ultimately use the expertise of its workgroups to develop interoperability resources and action plans.

The AMA releases a Digital Health Implementation Playbook, offering physicians 12 action steps, plus best practices and resources, to aid in digital health adoption. The guide’s initial area of focus is on remote patient monitoring using wearables and other devices that generate data outside of a physician’s office.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 10/15/18

October 15, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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HealthRight President Scott Roix pleads guilty to felony conspiracy charges related to a telemedicine scheme that bilked payers like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee out of nearly $1 billion. The three year-long crime involved HealthRight filing fraudulent claims for incorrectly prescribed pain creams and related products that it illegally marked up. Four other people – each associated with a compounding pharmacy – have also been charged. 


Webinars

October 30 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “How One Pediatric CIN Aligned Culture, Technology and the Community to Transform Care.” Presenters: Lisa Henderson, executive director, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Shehzad Saeed, MD, associate chief medical officer, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Mason Beard, solutions strategy leader, Philips PHM; Gabe Orthous, value-based care consultant, Himformatics. Sponsor: Philips PHM. Dayton Children’s Health Partners, a pediatric clinically integrated network, will describe how it aligned its internal culture, technology partners, and the community around its goal of streamlining care delivery and improving outcomes. Presenters will describe how it recruited network members, negotiated value-based contracts, and implemented a data-driven care management process.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Greater Houston Healthconnect goes live on PrognoCIS healthcare technology from Bizmatics. The HIE services providers in 24 counties across Southeast Texas.

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Therap adds a health-tracking dashboard to its EHR for providers of community-based services, and intellectual and developmental disability service organizations.


People

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The AAFP elects associate professor of family medicine and East Dayton Health Clinic (OH) staff physician Gary LeRoy, MD president-elect.

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Lygeia Ricciardi (Clear Voice Consulting) joins digital health startup Carium as chief transformation officer.


Government and Politics

The City of South Bend, Indiana signs a three-year contract with Michiana Health Information Network to develop a database of homes at risk of lead exposure and a system that will alert physicians about at-risk patients. Local physicians believe the arrangement is a step in the right direction given that only 8 percent of the city’s children have received lead screenings in the last 15 years, but worry that not enough resources are going towards follow-up care for lead exposure.

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Submissions are due today for ONC’s Easy EHR Issue Reporting Challenge. First announced in late May, the contest hopes to showcase entries that demonstrate easy ways to report usability problems to IT departments, vendors, and patient safety organizations. Up to $80,000 in prizes are available.


Other

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A 13-month workplace study on the health effects of treadmill workstations versus sit-stand desks finds that the treadmills helped to improve the overall health of overweight users, but didn’t do much for those who were already fit. One commentator called the study “costly,” which makes me question how worthwhile it is to spend money on that type of attempt to improve health and boost productivity.

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The trend of on-demand medical office space strengthens with the launch of Alma Health, a New York City-based startup that offers therapists access to stylish, co-working space for sessions. Patients are afforded well-appointed waiting rooms designed to heighten privacy. The company was founded by former Oscar Insurance VP Harry Ritter, MD.

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This is a dangerous idea: Basis launches to offer patients a cheaper alternative to therapy with licensed professionals. For $35, patients sit and chat virtually with an unlicensed “specialist” for 45 minutes. The company requires its specialists to have 15 hours of online training. It does not require them to have experience in healthcare or psychology. I’m saddened by the fact that investors have already poured over $3 million into this phone-a-friend company, which is perpetuating the idea that cheap and convenient equal effective.

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Delaware Public Media highlights the value-based care success Southern Delaware Medical Group and other area practices have had with ACO management company Aledade. The company’s services, which include in-person and digital resources, have helped several Delaware-based practices reduce hospitalizations by 13 percent, save Medicare over $5.5 million dollars, and earn a quality score of 96 percent. Providers like Beshara Helou, MD of Georgetown Medical Associates point out that value-based care success comes with a cost: “From a financial point in the beginning, it was not a very good investment—I’ll tell you that. It was a big learning curve. For the first six months in 2014 everybody was just volunteering their time and effort and energy.” Helou finally saw an ROI in 2017. “It’s not about the money,” he adds. “It’s about the quality of care, but you want to be rewarded for doing a good job.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Intelligent Medical Objects chairman, chief innovator, and co-founder Frank Naeymi-Rad, PhD, MS, MBA will be inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics at AMIA’s annual symposium in San Francisco November 3-7.
  • Nordic will exhibit at the Georgia HIMSS Annual Conference October 16 in Atlanta.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 10/10/18

October 10, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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CVS Health receives DoJ clearance to proceed with its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which will operate as a standalone business once the deal closes at the end of Q4. The arrangement is contingent on Aetna selling off its Medicare Part D business.

CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo says the companies will have the combined capabilities in “technology, data, and analytics to develop new ways to engage patients in their total health and wellness. Our focus will be at the local and community level, taking advantage of our thousands of locations and touch points throughout the country to intervene with consumers to help predict and prevent potential health problems before they occur.”

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Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told Fortune earlier this year that, “The insurance company isn’t going to be about making money anymore. It’s [going to be] about facilitating the financing of affordable and convenient care,” pointing out that CVS has 10,000 stores within five miles of 80 percent of US consumers. Bertolini will resign once the deal is done and then join CVS Health’s Board of Directors. Aetna President Karen Lynch will take over his executive role and become a CVS EVP.


Webinars

October 30 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “How One Pediatric CIN Aligned Culture, Technology and the Community to Transform Care.” Presenters: Lisa Henderson, executive director, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Shehzad Saeed, MD, associate chief medical officer, Dayton Children’s Health Partners; Mason Beard, solutions strategy leader, Philips PHM; Gabe Orthous, value-based care consultant, Himformatics. Sponsor: Philips PHM. Dayton Children’s Health Partners, a pediatric clinically integrated network, will describe how it aligned its internal culture, technology partners, and the community around its goal of streamlining care delivery and improving outcomes. Presenters will describe how it recruited network members, negotiated value-based contracts, and implemented a data-driven care management process.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Houston MRI & Diagnostic Imaging selects ERAD’s RIS and PACS software including patient and physician portals.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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AMA’s business development and commercialization company Health2047 launches its second venture, First Mile Care, which aims to support pre-diabetic patients through health coaching and related resources. FMC founder and CEO Karl Ronn comes to the company from P&G.


Telemedicine

CVS Health’s MinuteClinic rolls out Teladoc-powered Video Visits in Kentucky. Now offered in 16 states, the retail clinic’s telemedicine service will be made available nationwide by the end of the year.


Other

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Beth Friedman of Agency Ten22 was kind enough to send over her physician practice-related insights from AHIMA, which took place late last month in Miami Beach:

Protecting patient information across all settings of care and business operations was consistently emphasized as fundamental to ensuring patient trust. Attendees were encouraged to align privacy, security, and data management best practices. Lessons learned from organizations experiencing cyberattacks drove home the need to:

  • Maintain backups of PHI.
  • Secure systems and protect data.
  • Never underestimate the malicious nature of cybersecurity attacks.
  • Assess your business associates or outsource this task to a third party.

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In sessions covering security certifications and frameworks like NIST, HITRUST and GDPR, HIM professionals — in conjunction with their IT counterparts — can play an important role in helping practices promote stronger privacy, security, and data governance. Their expertise should not be underestimated or ignored. Project management and denial management are two additional technology areas where HIM experts can lend a helping hand.

Providers were encouraged to use IT systems as a first line of defense against payer denials. Intersect Healthcare CEO Brian McGraw suggested the following strategies in his session:

  • Track your practice’s top encounters and diagnoses denied.
  • Educate staff on clinical documentation and coding guidelines for common denials.
  • Upload knowledge into your IT systems for easy access and denial disputes.
  • Know payer rules, include them in your IT systems, and build awareness across all staff.
  • Move toward payer collaboration and conduct clinical conversations about denials.

According to McGraw, “Providers should adopt a proactive approach to pursue every avenue under their contract.” Another practical tactic for physician practices to consider is the use of HIM professionals for IT and centralization projects.

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Coding focus is shifting to a long-term, holistic view of the patient versus individual office or hospital encounters. Chronic care management programs are part of that shift. For physician practices setting up a CCM program, the first few steps are most important. TrustHCS Director of Coding Quality and Professional Development Nena Scott provided four takeaways for CCM success:

  • Take your time during initial program setup to achieve better patient outcomes
  • Focus on managing chronic conditions so they don’t reoccur
  • Work to avoid hospital readmissions—acute exacerbations of chronic disease
  • Strengthen communication and patient management between hospital, physician and post-acute care providers—nurses, physician assistants, care managers, etc.

Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons Annual Meeting October 11-14 in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the AAFP Annual Meeting October 10-12 in New Orleans.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
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